Best practice in acupuncture for assisted reproduction

An international panel of acupuncture fertility experts has collaborated to establish a consensus on what is considered to constitute ‘best practice’ acupuncture for the support of assisted reproduction technology (ART). Fifteen acupuncturists with extensive experience treating women during ART interventions participated in three rounds of Delphi questionnaires. Significant agreement was achieved on the parameters of best practice acupuncture, including an acupuncture protocol suitable for future research. Study participants confirmed the importance of acupuncture ‘dose’, the therapeutic relationship, tailoring treatment to the individual and the role of co-interventions. A consensus was achieved on the design of an acupuncture treatment protocol to be used in a future clinical trial of acupuncture as an adjunct to ART. The protocol includes the use of manual TCM acupuncture, with a first treatment, individualised to the participant, administered between day 6–8 of the stimulated ART cycle, plus two further treatments, to be administered on the day of embryo transfer. The pre-transfer treatment will include points Diji SP-8, Xuehai SP10, Taichong LIV-3, Guilai ST-29, Guanyuan REN-4, while the post-transfer treatment will include Bauhui DU-20, Taixi KID-3, Zusanli ST-36, Sanyinjao SP-6, and Neiguan P-6. Auricular points Shenmen and Zigong will also be used. (Using a Delphi consensus process to develop an acupuncture treatment protocol by consensus for women undergoing Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) treatment. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Jul 7;12:88).

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